Monday, March 31, 2008

A SCHOOLYARD IS NOT A GARBAGE CAN

I happened to be walking a school today just as the bell rang - back to class after lunch. Despite the fact that it was raining, some students (aged 11-14 I would guess) were eating outside in the yard.

When the bell rang, the students got up but their lunch garbage stayed put.


I'll tell you why I was particularly disappointed to see this: I was under the impression that the younger generation took a very active interest in environmental issues. For some reason, I was holding onto this image of children communing with nature, of being closer to the natural world.


Who do they think is going clean up this mess? I have a relative who works as a janitor in a public school, and she barely has time to clean the washrooms at one school before she's off to the next one. In my district, schools are not well-equipped to maintain themselves as far as personnel is concerned.


This is serious stuff. This is the health and well-being of our planet. I guess we all need to set a better, louder example for the young people around here. After all, they'll still be here when we're gone.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

alchemy theatre read my mind

Just the other day, I was contemplating how unfair it is that theatrical performances costs so crazy much money to attend.  Want to check out Toronto's new opera house?  That'll be $275, please, if you'd like the best seat in the house.  If you're under 30 and don't mind an obstructed view, they'll sell you a ticket for $25.

But the main criterion for discounted ticket prices seems always to be age.  Why is there this assumption that everyone between the ages of 30 and 65 has money to throw around?  That just isn't the case.  There are plenty of adults out there who would love to attend plays, musicals, operas, symphonies, but cannot because it just costs too damn much. 

And then I came across a little flyer for Alchemy Theatre's production of All's Well that Ends Well, running from March 28th (tomorrow) until April 13th, 2008.  Now, I've never seen any of Alchemy's productions and in all honesty Shakespeare doesn't exactly make me wet with desire (I've seen enough modern interpretations for the time being).  That's not to say this won't be a great show.  Maybe it will, but what really caught my eye were the ticket prices:

$20 Wed-Sat, 2-4-1 Wed, PWYC Sun
$5 Discounted for the underemployed

A discount for the underemployed!!!  Do mine eyes deceive?  Now, this I've never seen before. Alchemy Theatre, you read my mind.  Those ticket prices are pretty reasonable to begin with (you can't get more reasonable than PWYC), but that $5 discount is music to my ears.  You're on the right track, Alchemy.  Why won't the big theatres with their gobs of money get a clue and offer discounted tickets for underemployed individuals? 

All I can do is hope this catches on (knowing full well it won't).

Monday, March 24, 2008

get it while you can

I've just received the sad news that my beloved publisher, Dark Eden Press, will be closing its doors on April 1st 2008 so our wonderful president can battle serious illness. DEP was my first publisher, took me as a precocious writer-virgin and initiated me into the world of erotic fiction. I can't tell you how heartbroken I am right now.

That said, if you have yet to buy a copy of my debut novella THE BIRTHDAY GIFT, get it while you can. After March 30th, who knows when it'll be available again? If you're on the fence, take a leap. If you love a good menage story, don't even think first. This is menage a quatre plus a voyeur... or two...

~Blurb~
When Meredith sets out to buy ingredients for her husband's birthday cake one summer morning, she's mildly surprised when she meets up with one of his co-workers. Meredith's much more surprised when she comes upon this delicious man getting a little hands-on with another guy. But nothing could compare to the shock Meredith receives when this other guy's wife appears on the scene... and invites her to join in!

Whew! Hot stuff! But the story's not over yet. There's still the tropical vacation, the confinement in foreign prison, the trial for freedom... and, hey, where's Meredith's husband in all this? It is his birthday, after all.

~Reviews~
"The sexual awakening of Meredith was well done. Not wanting to give away the ending I will say this, it was a good twist." ~night owl romance

This e-book is now available from http://www.darkedenpress.com/book_giselle-renarde-the-birthday-gift.html

To view the book trailer, visit
http://www.youtube.com/gisellerenarde
~

And to everyone at Dark Eden Press: I love you all. Thank you and goodnight.

A NEWSPAPER BOX IS NOT A GARBAGE CAN

This is the image that started it all.

Every time I walk by this newspaper box, it's cluttered with coffee cups.  Coffee cups go in the garbage, not on a newspaper box.  

I'm guessing people think, "I'm a good person.  I'm setting my garbage on something instead of throwing it on the ground."  Just because you don't throw it directly on the ground doesn't mean you're not littering.  

Let's take a look at the photo evidence.  I took this picture in the afternoon.  See all those coffee cups on the sidewalk?  Those coffee cups were on the newspaper box when I walked by it that morning.  There's this thing called the wind and it's quite capable of blowing a paper cup onto the ground.

There's a garbage can right around the corner from this newspaper box too.  Argh.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Love Bites

Did you know I write paranormal erotica?

Well, I do now! Up to this point I’ve been writing nothing but contemporary erotica, but I recently tried my hand at something a little different. Guess what? It worked!

The Regular is scheduled to appear in an upcoming anthology called Love Bites. Brought to us by Bareback Angels, an imprint of Torquere Press, Love Bites is a compilation of m/m/f tales with a focus on supernatural. ~*mwa-ha-ha-ha*~ Anyone who’s read The Birthday Gift will know how much I love writing ménage stories… a lot…

So, what’s this new story about?

Saada and Toby have worked side by side at the café for years, so what's kept this perfect pair from getting together? The usual: other boyfriends, other girlfriends, same old story. Now the timing is right, it's a dark and stormy night, the boss has left early, and all the clocks have gone wonky. There's electricity in the air, and still the old friends need a push in the right direction. Lucky for them, the regular's hanging around well into the evening. He's a supernatural being otherwise known as Q -- Q as in Q-pid -- and his arrow's aimed straight at Toby's ass.

Forget the chubby-cheeked cherub. This Cupid's as mysterious as he is charming, and smoking hot to boot!

Love Bites will be available in e-format and in print. I’ll update y’all when it’s released so you can rush out to buy it ;-) It oughta be a good one!

Monday, March 17, 2008

A PINE TREE IS NOT A GARBAGE CAN

Today I'm introducing a brand new feature here at Donuts and Desires. THIS IS NOT A GARBAGE CAN is a photo essay, updated weekly, depicting all the places lazy people in my city throw their garbage, despite the fact that these locations are NOT garbage cans.

My inspiration is my revulsion at the amount of litter I see on the streets of Toronto the Good. This is a relatively clean city, and yet there's garbage everywhere. I simply don't understand how people can continue to choke our dying planet out of sheer laziness. There are garbage cans everywhere and they're there for a reason. Did I ever mention I'm an environmentalist?

So, without further delay, onto our first installment: A PINE TREE IS NOT A GARBAGE CAN.

Many people seem to think that a pine tree is a garbage can. I can illustrate my assertion with using the photos above and below, which I took on the main street of an affluent part of the city. As you can see, these pine trees have been used as garbage cans by a whole bunch of people. People who drink grape soda, ginger ale, coffee and bottle water. People who eat cheap chocolate and McDonalds (that white thing all crumpled up in the photo above is a bag from McDo). There's at least one pack of cigarettes in the tree pictured at the right, and there's some other crap in there too.

Talk about the direct impact of litter on the environment! You don't have to actually
hug trees (pine needles are sharp, I know), just don't throw garbage in them! It's a pretty easy rule to follow. So, what have we learned today? A PINE TREE IS NOT A GARBAGE CAN

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Raspberry Jelly


Have you noticed that, on a blog called “Donuts and Desires,” I have yet to make a single post about…

…donuts?…

“Raspberry Jelly,” AKA “What’s a girl gotta do to get a jelly-filled donut around here?”

Confused yet? I’m talking about Tim Horton’s, the pride of Canada, birthplace of rrroll-up-the-rrrim (which I never win, by the way), THE place to go for coffee and a donut. So, if Tim Hortons is the donut capital of Canada, I have to ask the question: Where have all the donuts gone?

In a donut shop, you expect to find donuts. Am I right? When I go into Tim Horton’s these days, I look out into the sea of bagel and cookies, dismayed by the distinct lack of variety where donuts are concerned. Sure, there are a few crullers, some Plain Jane old-fashioneds, a few Boston Creams if you’re lucky, but never jelly-filleds.

You are familiar with the donuts I’m referring to, are you not? They’re shaped like a hockey puck, filled with raspberry jelly and doused in icing sugar. The quintessential donut. Homer’s delight.

So where are they? What happened to them? I’d assumed Timmy’s had simply out every time I was here, that they weren’t baking enough of these delicious morsels. Yesterday I was at the drive-thru with my sister (and don’t get my started on the environmental abomination that is the drive-thru – that’s a story for another day).

At any rate, since we were at the drive-thru, my sister ordered a donut blindly (a free donut, by the day. SHE always wins roll-up-the-rim. Some girls have all the luck!) She ordered a raspberry jelly-filled. The disembodied voice at the other end of the intercom replied, “We don’t carry those.”

Don’t carry them? Don’t carry the powdered raspberry jelly-filled donut? The donut of kings? What is the world coming to when the quintessential donut shop stops carrying the quintessential donut? I can only hope the disembodied voice was referring to that location only. I just can’t bring myself to believe every Timmy’s could stop carrying this variety, even if the icing sugar does coat your clothes and the jelly does spurt out of the pastry.

And what ever happened to the Tim Horton’s of yore? The Tim Horton’s of my childhood? The Timmy’s where you walked in the door, greeted by the scent of freshly-baked mounds of sugary dough? (Ok, that’s a false memory – the sickly smell of cigarettes, more like.) Most importantly, what happened to those colourful fields of donuts?

Ah, but nothing golden-brown can stay… especially if it’s sprinkled with sugar and filled with raspberry jelly.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Stop Saying Sorry

We have this bizarre custom here in Canada: If somebody pushes you, shoves you, steps on your toes, YOU say sorry. Whether it’s an accident or an act of deliberate malevolence on their part, you must say sorry when you are affronted. That is part of Canada’s unspoken code of social conduct.

I do not abide by it.

I think this inability we Canadians have to stand up for ourselves feeds a more universal problem: namely, that of blaming the victim for crimes committed against her. About a year ago, I read a short article in my local paper. It was a report about a woman who had been sexually assaulted in my area. Apparently, she’d gotten off her bus and was walking home when a car slowed beside her and the driver offered her a ride. The woman said no and kept walking. The driver then got out of his car, pulled the young woman in, and assaulted her.

The police officer my local paper interviewed regarding this crime said that the point this event should really hit home is that women need to be more vigilant about their personal safety.

When I read that article, I was irate. Why? Because of all the comments that could have been made regarding this crime, the officer uttered and the paper printed one that, albeit with a certain subtlety, blamed the victim for the assault against her. Had SHE been more vigilant, this crime may not have occurred.

And why, I ask, does this crime not “hit home” the point that men shouldn’t rape women? That tougher laws should be imposed? That greater police presence is required in that area? That systemic injustice is alive and well in this country? There are any number of points that could have been made. The fact that the one comment uttered and published without editorializing implies the victim ought to have done something differently in order to prevent this attach speaks volumes about police perception of crimes against women. And if police hold this general belief, how much are they really going to do to aid the victim?

As I stood waiting for my bus this morning, a woman pushed me out of her way to get by. Did I say sorry? Nope. I said, “If you want to get by, you say ‘excuse me,’ you don’t push people.” That was rude of me, according to the Canadian code of social conduct. I got some looks – some ‘she must be crazy’ looks – but I don’t mind. It’s time for us – for Canadians, for women, for victims - to stop saying sorry for the crimes committed against us. It’s time to speak up. No apologies necessary.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

oldie-baldies are beautiful!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the oldie-baldies?

I do. I love those physically fit bald men in the 50-65 age group. What can I say? I’m a grave robber (the opposite of a cradle robber…?)


And what’s not to love? Bald is the new leather. I love those shiny crowns, I love that short greying stubble that runs from ear to ear, and I love the vast expanse of foreheads. When I see a bald head in a crowd, I think, “Now there’s a man oozing with T!”


And I’m not talking shaved heads, here. A man’s got to be naturally bald to do it for me. Why? I guess because I associate male pattern baldness with increased testosterone levels, and increased testosterone levels with… well, happy thoughts…


Take Patrick Stewart: sexiest man alive, in my humble opinion. Just look at that picture. Oh, he’s so hot I can barely stand it. If I concentrate on that image for more than thirty seconds, my body erupts in spontaneous orgasm. He’s just that good-looking. (By the way, keep Patrick Stewart in mind while reading my Audrey and Lawrence stories. That’s who Lawrence’s looks are modelled on.)


So, to all you men out there who are thinning on top, I have only this to say: Don’t fight the hair loss! Wear your baldness with pride! Do it, if not for yourselves, then for me and the many other women out there who love to admire themselves in the sheen of a hairless scalp.

Power to the oldie-baldies!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Smoke Signals

I feel compelled to share this beautiful quote from the 1998 film Smoke Signals (based on Sherman Alexie’s “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven”), which I finally got around to seeing tonight. The movie, centred around a son’s quest following the death of his father, resonated deeply with me. These words, which end the film, affected me in a very profound way. Father and Forgiveness are ideas I’ve tiptoed around in my life. It’s a grounding experience, learning you are not alone. There is common experience.

How do we forgive our fathers?
Maybe in a dream.
Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little?
Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all?
Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers?
Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers?
And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness?
Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning?
For shutting doors or speaking through walls?
For never speaking, or never being silent?
Do we forgive our fathers in our age, or in theirs?
Or in their deaths, saying it to them or not saying it.
If we forgive our fathers, what is left?